Bipolar disorder is previously known as manic depression. It is abnormal mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings including emotional highs and lows. Emotional highs are known as mania or hypomania where as lows are known as depression.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder depends upon the type of disorder and most often unpredictable.
- Bipolar I disorder: in this type of disorder patient have at least one manic episode before or after major depressive episode. Manic episodes sometimes causes break from reality leading to psychosis.
- Bipolar II disorder: in this disorder patient have at least one major depressive and one hypomanic episode but don’t have manic episode.
- Cyclothymic disorder: in this type of disorder patient experience for atleast two years hypomania symptoms along with some depressive symptoms. Although the depression are less severe than that of major depressive symptoms.
- Mania or hypomania: is characterized by being abnormally weird, jumpy or excited, aggravated agitation, abnormal sleep patterns, feeling of euphoria, distractibility, unusually talkative, disturb decision making.
- Major depressive episode presents as feeling sad, empty and depressed. Feeling of no pleasure and marked loss of interest, variation in the weight along with decrease or gain of appetite, disturb sleeping patterns and suicidal thoughts, fatigue and loss of energy, feeling worthless and decrease in concentration
The main cause of bipolar disorder is not yet known. However, following factors can be involved:
- Biological differences like changes in the brain shapes.
- Some genetic and heredity factors can also be involved
Some concerning complications are:
- Increase likelihood of drug and alcohol abuse
- Suicide attempts
- Financial and legal problems
- Relationship problems
- Eating disorder
- Heart diseases and thyroid problems
Diagnosis of disease depends on complete history of the patient. Major test which is required for diagnosis are as under
- Detailed general physical examination
- Psychiatric evaluation
- Mood charting techniques
- Comparing the criteria of the symptoms of bipolar disorder with Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorder (DSM-5).
The treatment options are as follows
- Medication are prescribed to manage the condition which may include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants.
- Continuing treatment
- Day treatment program.
- Substance abuse treatment
- Hospitalization if the condition is severe
- Psychotherapy is also considered including interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) , Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychoeducation and family focused therapy.
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are considered when no other treatment is being beneficial.
- Quit smoking
- Limit the use of recreational drugs
- Try to schedule healthy routine
- Try to keep mood charts